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The Commandment of Love - Part 3

Jason Sliger
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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jason is a former full-time evangelist with Amazing Facts, now pastoring in Northern Michigan. He and his wife, Midori, have two children, Evangeline and Christian who are 3 and 1. His greatest desire is to have an experience like Jesus and be part of helping others be like Him too. He enjoys playing with his kids, photography and, when he can find time, playing the guitar.

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  • February 11, 2017
    4:00 PM
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Father in heaven. We thank you Lord for the blessings of the Sabbath hours. And Father as we linger in your presence our little longer the softer news. Again Lord we do it for the primary reason coming to know you better. And so Father we pray that again you would send your Holy Spirit. To take the message the words that are spoken words that are read. And send the message home to our hearts where it ought to be. We thank you Jesus but we ask it in your name. In. Want to reread to you a statement that I have read in the last two presentations and I'm repeating it all three times because I really want this to be cemented cemented in your mind the southern review January one of one thousand one. Where we are told he only who loves his fellow man to a purpose can know God And again those who love one another as is outlined in first with these thirteen they are the ones that will have a true understanding of God and know him and then she goes on she says this is the reason that there is so little gin you invite Well it's your life in our churches because there is little love there is little life theology is value in this unless it is saturated with holding as much as it can saturate it with the love of Christ God is supreme his love in the human heart will lead to the doing of works that will be a fruit after the sin. Similar to that of the character of. God. Now at last you presentations are kind of being couching this in negative terms that there is little vitality that. There is little value in terms of our theology but I want you to notice that you can flip this around and see two beautiful promises and the promises are that a church who has a gobby in its presence a family who has a copy in his heart a person who has a God they will have vitality Amen. And also a group of people an individual or a church that has a God they will have a theology that other people observe as being valid you pull So these are two promises as well that as we take the challenge to allow the roots of a gobby to sink very deeply into our hearts this love of God that defines that we are disciples of Christ if we allow that to happen there will be vitality there will be life and those around us will view the theology that we believe as something that is valuable for them to acquire because obviously their theology has made an impact in their lives. As you mentioned already the chapter is divided into three sections we looked at the first two already in verses one through three Paul talks about the supremacy of love and gives a five contrast in statements there that we looked at in our time together last night this morning we looked at love analyze the verses for through seven where he breaks down the components of what love is he defines for us the character of Christ if you will and he gives us the details of what it is this evening I want to take a moment to look at the third and final segment here in a gobby verses eight through thirteen where Paul talks about the permanence of. B. and he begins right at the very beginning of verse eight by setting forth the permit. It's of a gum pink that it goes and never ends first with the is thirteen versus eight this charity never fail it but whether there be prophecies they shall fail whether they be tongues they shall cease whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away he says Charity never faileth the the these are very thought provoking words for us to think about charity never fails it's an unfortunate translation in the King James Version of the Bible and the literal meaning of the word fail is that it does not and that charity does not end charity does not come to an end it doesn't it doesn't it's not lost or it doesn't perish at some point in time if I tend to put this part of the passage as charity fall is not a way it is permanent it is an ending it endures throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity not just for the time here on this earth but also in the world to come there are two ways that I believe we can look at this part part of our study of First Corinthians thirteen that charity never fail if when it comes to our love towards our fellow human beings brothers and sisters in Christ marriage relationships other types of relationships Paul tells us that charity never ends with other loves grow cold charity continues to love when the relationship grows cold charity continues to love when times get hard Ugh OP It continues to love it does not come it does not go but it is consistent it is always there it is kind of similar to how Jesus said When the disciples came to him and asked Lord how often shall we forgive our brother what did Jesus say he said unto you seventy two. Times seven and the point wasn't that Jesus was saying that we keep a score card and that when we reach four hundred ninety that we no longer have to forgive the point was that Jesus said we should forgive as often as they ask for forgiveness and even if they don't ask for forgiveness we should continue to forgive and the same thing is true when it comes to a god pay when it comes to charity that we love no matter what we continue to love because as I mentioned before it is what we are made up of and we cannot respond in any other way when as a Christian we always respond in this Christ like lawn the other way that we can look at this passage where the Bible says that charity never ends or got pay never ends is in the contrast that Paul is making between the spiritual gifts in First Corinthians chapter twelve and the love of Christ in First Corinthians thirteen as we know the spiritual gifts are going to come and go when you look at the spiritual gifts outline and first Corinthians twelve twenty eight we see them as God giving them to us to advance the cause of God But when Jesus comes there is not going to be any longer a need for those spiritual gifts those spiritual gifts will do in pass away as Paul outlines here in verse eight but when it comes to charity when it comes to a god day it will continue it will transition from this world into the world to come as I mentioned before it is our character that we are going to take with us to heaven and it's the character of a god they develop in the life of God's people that will transcend from this world into the world to come into the kingdom of heaven one day Paul says whether there be prophecies they shall fail whether there be tongues they shall cease whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away. But of course a god pay will continue in passing verse eleven says this we're going to get to the final verse that I want to really spend time on here in just a moment but a verse eleven Paul makes this interesting statement he says when I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child but when I became a man I put away what childish things simply Paul is making the statement here that charity or a gobby is something that grows and deepens over time just like as a child dies as a human we grow and we make sure over time as different as it is between childhood and manhood got a God they will develop in the same way that as we get more and more. Involved in our relationship with God as we grow in that relationship with Christ our love for others our love for God is going to deepen and it's going to mature simply put Paul is saying that a gobby needs to develop it shouldn't be something that stagnates but it should be something that develops over time we can spend more time on that but I want to press on to the verse of study the seed name first or at the insert scene and verse thirteen is where I want to spend our time first routines thirteen thirteen Paul makes this concluding remark in this chapter he says now abideth faith hope charity these three but the greatest of these is what a copy what is the most important thing in the world. Depends on I guess some people might say where they are at in their particular journey in their life if you're having health struggles you might say that your health is the most important thing if you having spiritual struggles you might say that your spiritual life is the most important thing if you're of a secular mindset you might say that the acquisition of money or three. Things is the most important thing but call and categorically makes the statement that the most important thing for the child of God to develop next to accepting Christ as their personal savior is to develop a heart that is full of charity faith hope and love the greatest of these Paul says is love Listen to this testimonies volume six. Page four hundred thirty nine sermon of the Lord says this the greatest work that what kind of work. The greatest work that can be done in our world is to glorify God. By living the character of crimes what's the greatest work that can be done. By living the character of not just understanding the character of Christ not having a theoretical knowledge of the of the character of Christ not seeing the character of Christ in other people but the most important work that a human being can do is to develop and live the character of Christ I know we've already outlined this here in our study together verses four through seven Paul is defining to us what the character of Christ looks like he's breaking it down to the fabric of what it is made out of he's telling us the different components of what it got me is that comprises the character of Christ and now the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that the greatest work we can do is not in some far flung part of the world the greatest work that we can do is not necessarily taking somebody on a specific spiritual journey but the greatest work that we can do is living in the character of Christ this is what the church is waiting for this is what the world is waiting for this is what God is waiting for he is waiting for his people to develop his character in their own lives so that he can shine out of them. To those around God is waiting for this and if you want to do something big for God you don't have to do it in some. Splashy minister doesn't have to have a big budget or nice shiny lights but you want to do something big for God that will out with the Lord in the prayer closet and say Father. I covet. The character of Jesus. It's the greatest works he says. It's greatest. Colossians chapter three verse fourteen just jot it down. Paul says. And above all these things. Put on charity which is the bond of perfect Miss discussed above all things. Put on charity which is the bond of perfect he's making this statement that charity is very important a godly is very important it is that it is above all these things he says the put it on Peter follows up the same statement we read this morning first Peter chapter four per se he says and above all things have fervent charity among yourselves for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. See the Bible writers are making it very clear here for us this evening that if we want to do something that is going to impact the kingdom of God We need to have this character of Christ and as I've mentioned in my study together in our study together last night this isn't something of our own human devising it's not something that we can go and do on our own like we do the Sabbath or we do the health message or we do outreach we can do that stuff and be unconverted but you cannot do a gobby and B. and convert it. Both Paul and Peter say above everything. Have First Corinthians thirteen four through seven pulsing through your spiritual veins put on charity is what they both advise us to do. Back to our text first Corinthians thirteen thirteen. And now abideth Faith Hope and Charity these three the greatest of these. Is charity I think we miss the impact here that Paul starts off of first things twelve thirty one and he contrasts between a GA P. and spiritual gifts. But then he concludes first Corinthians thirteen by contrast between these three things Faith Hope and law. And I do these three things with faith hope and love they're going to they're going to go even into the can with their also eternal faith hope and love all three of them are eternal they will go on they will last forever but out of the three What is Paul do he takes a god and he puts it on the top of the deck let me just draw this contrast for you little bit more here this evening faith Acts Chapter sixteen of verse thirteen or sorry sixteen for study one Peter Paul rather tells the jailer believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved and I house it was Jesus who said to Mary in Luke Chapter seven in verse fifteen and he said unto a woman by faith has saved the Go in peace we're told in Hebrews Chapter ten of verse thirty eight that the just God's people the just shall live by faith we're also told in Hebrews chapter eleven and verse six that without faith it is impossible to please God and that we find that it's through faith that we have grace is through faith that we have tamed parting justification sanctification and ultimately redemption it's by faith the Bible tells us that we are to fight the good fight it is by faith that we are able to. Stand the fiery darts of the devil it is by faith the Bible tells us that we overcome the world and Paul in his concluding state if thirteen verse thirteen he says yes faith is important but I gotta pay is more important. Are you catching the contrast this is big stuff these themes are so huge we just we run right through these bible passages and we continue to go on and we miss how big of a ramification Paul is drawing a huge picture here for us faith is all throughout Scripture faith is the bedrock of our spiritual life the bedrock of our salvation and he says as important as faith is charity developed in the character developed in the people of God is more important than that. He moves on. Talks about hope. Where would we be without hope in this world. What hope would we have if we didn't have hope in the coming of the Lord Jesus obviously his soon return fills us with a hopeful expectation that there is something that is worth living for because this world is not all that we have to look forward to but we have the world to come. In fact as I was studying this I ran across an interesting passes that I had never really taken much notice to before. Romans chapter eight and verse twenty four. Where the same author of First Corinthians thirteen states. For we are saved. By hope. We are saved by what. We're saved by faith. And then Paul says we're also saved by hope. But more important than that Paul says is this a GAAP. Paul continues this theme of hope and keepers chapter six and verse eighteen and nineteen. Where he says by two Immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie that we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the whole set before us as it was as a verse nineteen which hope we have as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast and which enter it in within the veil what is hope hope is a anchor with the job of an anchor. It brings stability right you know when there's a storm ship puts out an anchor and it bring stability to that ship I read a story not too long ago about some fisherman that were fishing off the coast of El Salvador it was a beautiful day they were anxious to get out and do some fishing and so they got in their boat they launched outs for they lost out fact the captain one in charge noticed that there was no anchor in the book but it was a beautiful day and you think they're going to be out there very long and so they cast off they took off and they left shore without the anchor they left behind and as they were out there doing their fishing the time came for them to come back they had a full load of fish that they caught it was a great fishing trip and on their way back they were caught in this horrific storm and as they were trying to push their way through these waves the engine just stopped working on them their G.P.S. wasn't working the radio battery had died and there they are in the middle of the storm with no anchor they were swept out to sea and they drift it in the Pacific Ocean for fourteen months. True story. Fourteen months. They lived out in the ocean till they washed up on some lonely Pacific island out there and were finally rescued. Hope is an anchor. The hope in the coming of the Lord bring stability hope in salvation bring stability hope in trans translation bring stability the hope that God gives to us it brings stability and when we don't have that hope we are like a ship without an anchor we are tossed to and fro and we may move we may not know it but we might be out somewhere in the Pacific ocean of life just wondering around hoping that one day we might get rest. Hope provide stability but Paul says as great as hope is he says the Great is of the IS LOVE. Without the got pay. Families begin to disintegrate Have you seen that in your own life I'm a product of a split family I know what that's like without a gobby in our lives society goes to pieces and there is not much hope in this world without this selfless self sacrificing this interest it in myself kind of love for other people again Paul's Peter says have fervent charity. Among yourselves. As we get our study together I kind of talked about this passage a few moments ago but I want to bring it back in here as we talk about the greatest of these being love Paul says First Corinthians twelve thirty one that we are to covet earnestly the best gifts and he says yet I show him to you more excellent way and he got me thinking if we're to covet the best gifts and not just come in. He says the cover earnestly the best gifts if we are to covet the best gifts the spiritual gifts how much more should I covet. First Corinthians thirteen Fourth or seven in my life right if we're to covet the best gifts the gifts outlined here in First Corinthians Chapter twelve if we are to cut them not just cover them but cover them earnestly with with with zealousness how much more should I be covered teen the character of Jesus that is outlined of First Corinthians thirteen but oftentimes I think we give this concept the kind of a passing understanding or a passing thought this needs to be something that we truly wrestle with the Lord on not just in the next week not just in the next month but daily weekly monthly yearly just continuing to check in with the Lord and say Father I need this character I needed to make sure over time as a child matures into a man I needed to grow I needed to get stronger I needed to become more valuable and I did something that you could use more effectively in the Cause of God. How much more should be covet charity. Than the spiritual gifts. Are with me in your Bibles if you would. Matthew chapter twenty five. Of course you know that this is. A continuing can can continue ration of thought from Matthew twenty four. Where Jesus is talking about the signs of His coming. Matthew chapter twenty five we find three parables that Jesus gives. But I want to look at one parable here the last one very quickly. Verse thirty one beginning in verse three. He won. And I want you to notice what the determining factor is when Christ comes back. That's you Chapter twenty five beginning in third verse thirty one The Bible says this When the Son of man shall come in His glory. And all the holy angels with him then shall he sit upon the throne of His glory and before him shall be gathered all nations how many nations. And he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divided the sheep from the goats how many groups will there be. And he show us and he shall set the sheep on his right hand. But the goats on the left and he and then shall the King say unto them on his right hand come you blessed of my father and Herod the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world now knows what it says in verse thirty five for. Or because it's so he say I want you to inherit the kingdom that's been prepared for you and now I'm going to give you the reason why because because I was and hungered and you gave me meat I was thirsty and you gave me drink I was a stranger and you took me a naked and you clothed me I was sick and you visit me I was in prison and you came on to me then shall the righteous answer and answer saying Lord when saw we the end hunger and fed the or thirsty and gave the drink when so we the a stranger and took the inn or naked and closed the or when saw we the sick or imprisoned or and came unto thee and the King shall answer and say unto them Verily I say unto you and so much as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brother and what does he say you have done it unto me notice when Jesus would use the same here it's amazing that the thought that he is conveying. When Christ comes back. And he read deems the sheep the righteous and He reaps them to take them to heaven Matthew chapter twenty five gives us the reason why he is taking them to heaven for because. And I want you to notice. That Jesus does not tell us anything about what they believe. Jesus does not say anything about what they said Jesus does not say anything about six their religious exercises. But what Jesus says is what they did. Are you all follow me here this morning this evening and he's telling them you did this you did that you did another thing you did these things and because you did these things you are coming into the kingdom of heaven with me. Now notice what he goes on to say. In verse forty one. Then shall he say also and to them on the left hand. Depart from Me you curse into everlasting fire prepared for. The Devil and his angels we use this summit this this this Bible passage in our Bible prophecy seminars that hell fire was not prepared for humans but hell fire was prepared for who the devil and his angels. But we also know that Jesus is saying to those on the left hand that this is where they are going to go and those who he says in the next verse verse forty two he says for or because. Because he's going to give the reasons why because I was an hungered and you gave me no meat I was thirsty and you gave me no drink I was a stranger and you took me not to make it and you closed me nots. And in prison and you visited me not then verily they they also answered him saying Lord when saw we the end hunger or thirst or stranger or naked or sick or prison and did not minister unto thee then shall he answer them saying verily I say unto you in as much as you did it not to one of the least of these my brethren you did it not. To me. It's interesting the division between the sheep and the goats that Jesus gives it's not what they believe or what they profess to be the truth that divides them as we oftentimes think in our i've been a slime sent that our theological knowledge our understanding of the Sabbath the twenty three hundred days and all of that kind of stuff as important as that is according to Jesus that's not what distinguishes us out that's not what separates us from the sheep in the goats but what separates us from the sheep sheep in the goats is the a God in our hearts see a godly is not just a theoretical head knowledge but it is something that it is expressed in the actions that we do use then are just going to go around telling people that you love them. Jesus didn't just go around telling people that his father in heaven loved them but Jesus went around doing good works that were evidence that he loved them. The Bible tells us that it's the same criteria that divides between the sheep in the goats it's what Jesus will put his finger on that will divide the righteous from the wicked Now don't misunderstand me here I'm not preaching a social gospel I'm not preaching that all that matters is that we love people because we must give them the truth as well we love them for the purpose of giving them the truth and ultimately leading them into a relationship with Jesus that will bring them to the kingdom of heaven but I want you to notice again that in Matthew twenty five there is nothing said about what the sheep believe. Eased but it's everything about what they did then a verse forty six the Bible says this. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment but the righteous. Into life. Eternal. By withholding a gobby from others we are proving to them that we never knew Jesus. When we withhold a got they from other people when we see those that are in need and we just pass them right by. We are proving to them that we really never knew Jesus for if we knew Jesus we would do the works that Jesus did he couldn't help himself when he saw somebody in need when he saw somebody who is hurting when he saw somebody who is hungry and thirsty after something spiritual Jesus could not help himself he had to reach out to them he had to encourage them it was who he was he could not respond in any other way and God is waiting for his people to get to this point in their spiritual life. Paul. Said something interesting infusions. You can go there with me if you will if he's in Chapter five fees and Chapter five. Verse fourteen. Paul in talking to the church of F.S.S. he says this. For this cause I bow my knees What do we call that when we bow our knees. Worship prayer. So Paul is telling the courier that if he's in church to church of emphasis that he's praying for them bowing his knees and to the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named that he would grant you according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man in the news what he says in verse seventeen. That Christ made will in your hearts by faith. That ye being what root it and ground it in. In one. Rooted and grounded in a god pay may be able to comprehend with all the saints What is the record the length the debt the heights to know the love of Christ which pass it knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God Paul is praying he's on his knees he's beseeching the throne of God and he's praying for the Church of the SIS and he's saying the Lord root and ground down in a God day. Made their experience be rooted in grounded not in a superficial shallow relationship with you not in just a mere theoretical sense of full understanding of your word or some sort of theatrical and their spiritual life but maybe it come from the roots of love may they be rooted and grounded in love. That they may be able to comprehend the length and breadth the breadth the length the debt the height and to know the love of Christ that's what God wants us to understand not just in our minds but in our hearts in the actions in the words or in the silent moment that we might know the love of Christ which passes all understanding you know the one thing that I. I have really been frustrated within this whole study of First Corinthians thirteen. Is my inability to really be able to describe it as I've studied it through as I've looked at it I know there's much more to it and I feel like sometimes my human language gets in the way of accurately portraying what it is that Paul is trying to talk about. I almost feel like what I'm doing is I'm trying to describe. For example say I want to Yosemite and I took pictures of it with a Polaroid camera. And I came back with those Polaroid pictures and I'm trying to describe to you the grand tour of the Yosemite Valley. Doesn't do it much justice and I've been there I've seen it in person and it's an absolutely stunning place. And those little Polaroid pictures as pretty as they might be they really fail in properly can be what it is that is there in the US and the valley maybe they might inspire you to take a trip to go there and see it yourself but they really do not accurately portray what it is and sometimes I feel like the human language gets in the way of really being able to describe to us what a gobby really is and in fact it's kind of interesting that when you read the writings of the Apostle John John Chapter First John chapter three in verse one it's almost like he's having the same experience where he says Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us it's almost like John is throwing his hands up in the year he's done what he can to try to describe this beautiful love in his gospel and he continues to do I tried to describe it in the first the pistol of John but it it's almost like he's frustrated and he throws us hands up and he says just behold it. I. Can't describe it to you the language just feels it pales in its ability to be able to accurately describe what this love is and so John says Behold it. And so I can't think of a better piece of advice to give. To you tonight but to be hold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us. Really the only way we can do that is by spending time. With the Lord in His Word and doing just that beholding it what has he done how did he live what did he say and behold in the law that Jesus has manifested to those around him and then as we behold it it becomes part of who we are behold what manner of Love The Father and the stone upon us. Two passages in closing. Very quickly in first John five fourteen you're familiar with these texts first on five fourteen the Bible says this is the confidence that we have in him that if we ask anything according to his will with as the Bible say he was he hears us and if I ask the Lord to give me this experience is he going to hear that prayer. John fourteen fourteen the Bible says if you ask anything in my name Jesus says I. Will do it. These are two passages that I pray are encouraging to you because as I study first Corinthians thirteen I became very discouraged as I mentioned on a previous presentation it just seems impossible it's almost like if that's what God wants I kind of throw my hands up in the air and say I give up. But when I read these passages of scripture and I understand the ability of God that if I ask for something truly desiring it as I pour out my heart to the Lord and say Father I will not have. Brest I will wrestle with you and wrestle with you and wrestle with you until you give me this experience as I do that the Bible and the Bible tells us God will answer that prayer if you wrestle with the Lord as Jacob did in the Old Testament saying I will not let you go unto you give this thing to me because Father I do not have it within myself. Give me a dear Lord I pray. I want to be used by the Lord. To show his character to others. To be that loving lovable Christian that is the most powerful argument in favor of the truth I want to be that Christian that has the love of Christ in my heart that attracts people from Satan to Jesus I want to be that magnet. I want that experience I crave it desperately. I want to ask you this evening. Do you crave the same thing. Are you willing to. Wrestle with the Lord on this one. And not just go home and say Well that was a good weekend. Start Monday back as usual back into the old grind. But to really take it to heart. And say Lord use me as a magnet. To allure people to you not just in the words that come out of my mouth. But the way I live my life. People around you know that you are a Christian but now they want to see if you're a Christian. You've heard the old same before Talk is cheap. People are looking for somebody who has substance with Jesus. Lord. Make me a magnet for you. That you desire this evening. Would you Neil with me as we pray together. Dear Jesus. This is too big for us. We simply can't do it on our own. And Father we're sick of the status quo. Doing the same thing over and over again. We're tired of being stuck in the rut Laodicean ism. Being lukewarm Christians are sitting on the fence. And Father we ask to see evening. That you would continue to stoke the flames. Of. Christ character. Being reproduced in our lives. Sure it seems like it's impossible. We understand that we serve a God who with Him all things are possible. Father I pray for each one that's here tonight those are able to attend the other ones. That this experience will continue with them with all of us Lord. As we continue to grow and mature. From childhood to adulthood. In our spiritual life with you. Make us a magnet Lord. That allures people to you. That is so attractive in the eyes of the world. That they will say I want what they have. That instead of us having to ask them hey would you like to study the Bible. That they might come to us and say hey can you tell. Me How I can get what you have. Dear Jesus do this work. And use aside pray in your hands. To finish this great work. And to bring this world to a close. That we might be with you in the kingdom of heaven one day. Thank you Father. Thank you for the work that has already begun. We praise you. Jesus a precious human this media was brought to you by. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio. You would like to listen to more sermon. Visit W W W. Or.

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